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Colin Loretz

Musings and happenings

21 May

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Reno Collective is leveling up!

May 21, 2017 | By |

When we first opened Reno Collective at the end of 2009, we hoped that Reno’s freelancers, budding startups and remote employees would find a home with us and together build a strong community of independent workers. Fast forward to 2017 and the Reno Collective now includes creative and technical talent from just about every industry you can think of. It’s incredibly inspiring to see what our members achieve each and every day and we’re proud to work alongside them.

If you are reading this, then you have been a part of the Reno Collective community in some way. We are so thankful to have you and we want to let you in on some exciting news.

We’re leveling up! Again! We’re excited to announce Reno Collective version 4.

We Bought a Building!

We are moving to 1515 Plumas Street, on the corner of Mt Rose and Plumas. This was most recently known as Sierra Sonics Recording Mansion and previously Granny’s Recording Studio. It has quite a history and has been host to many musical guests including Dr. Dre and Eminem.

We will be closing shop down at our current location from May 27th through June 4th and reopening on June 5th in the new Reno Collective Mansion.

Studio A & What To Expect In Our New Space

As we move into this new space, we’re excited to embrace its history and restore the studios to their former glory. While we will not be operating a recording studio, Reno Collective members and the Reno community will be able to book the studios for events, meetups, classes, team retreats, performances or even music recordings.

It will have all the things our members have come to expect from working out of Reno Collective but we’re also going to be in a new part of town, have our own parking (cars and bikes!) so it’s easier for clients to find and meet with members, more conference rooms for those important meetings and did we mention you’ll be able to cowork outside? The wrap around porch is pretty sweet and you better bet that picnic table is going to get some use this summer.

Our Forever Home

While the space itself is exciting, we’re incredibly grateful for the opportunity to make this space our “forever home”. We were inspired by Holland Project and their efforts to secure their own building so they could secure their future as a valuable community and gathering place for Reno’s all-ages art and culture scene. Like Holland, we, too, are here to stay!

We exist to provide a place for freelancers, startups, remote employees and independent workers to work but also to cultivate a community of learners and doers. Our members learn from one another and ultimately help rise the tide for all independent workers in Reno. This happens through sharing experiences, cultivating new skills, collaborating on projects and having a space to meet new people. Having our own building allows us to focus on these things and provide a social and productive workspace for our members.

Music, Art and Technology

While we have always had a reputation for focusing on technology and software development, we are also home to many other creatives including musicians and visual artists. As we grow into our new space, we will be embracing the musical history of the building and bringing back Collective Desk Concerts!

We will also be commissioning local artists to grace our walls with stunning murals, local art and art shows. We have our eyes on some talented folks but if you are a local artist, please get in touch with us at art@renocollective.com or music@renocollective.com.

New Ways to Join

With this new home, we’re going to be rolling out some new options for anyone who wants to join Reno Collective. We’re exploring new options for community members, a podcasting membership and potentially a music membership. We’ll announce more in the coming months! If you are interested in learning more about joining the Reno Collective community, let us know at cowork@renocollective.com.

Member Spotlight: Julie Arsenault & Panty Drop

June 28, 2016 | By | No Comments

We’d like to introduce Julie Arsenault, founder of Panty Drop, an underwear subscription option for women. When you are busy and on the go, you sometimes don’t have time to go shopping for the essentials, let alone take the time to indulge in some self care. Julie’s mission is to empower women to be bold and confident and Panty Drop is a way to ensure that you feel your best every day.

You can read more about why Julie started Panty Drop over on her blog.

 

Panty Drop Redesign: Creating a High Quality Customer Experience

In addition to introducing you to Julie and her company, we want to congratulate her on the newly launched redesign of Panty Drop!

The Panty Drop website is built and hosted on top of Shopify so we asked Julie why she thought it was important to customize her Shopify experience beyond what was generally available from off-the-shelf themes.

Reno Collective: Why did you choose to build a custom website for your store?

Julie: I wanted to do a custom website because the website is a huge part of the “product” & having the right purchase flow and pages that talk about the product would be really important for the customer’s experience. While Shopify works great for most of what I need to do with the store, I have different purchase flow requirements than a typical eCommerce site and also needed more static pages than what I saw in most themes.

Taking the Brand to the Next Level

In working toward this new customer experience, sometimes we get out of our element as entrepreneurs. When you’re starting a company, you end up wearing a lot of hats. You’re writing the copy, sourcing the product, trying to design something in Photoshop and move bits of HTML around as best you can while keeping an eye on how you might eventually make some money. Julie was doing all the work herself up until she hired a designer and a developer to work on the redesign.

Reno Collective: How was it working with a designer and a developer to build out your vision for Panty Drop?

Julie: Working with a designer and developer was stressful at first, but a very good decision. Before, I was doing the design and development myself – neither of which is my specialty, so I never could get the site exactly the way I wanted it. Hiring professionals was absolutely the right move because it helped take the brand to the next level. I wasn’t (and still am not) an expert at hiring designers and developers, so it was a little unfamiliar thinking about what requirements I had for the project & how to evaluate the experience of the people I’d be hiring. Also, during the project, since I wasn’t always in the same place as Josh & Laura, I needed to spend time preparing my feedback so it’d be clear and actionable for them. But I’m pleased with how it came out!

If you want all the juicy details on the redesign, you can read more about the relaunch and their awesome giving program here.

drop

1 Year Panty Drop Giveaway

To celebrate the big makeover, Julie is doing a giveaway for a 1 year subscription to her service. You can enter to win here! You only have a few days left to enter as the contest will close at the end of June.

Congrats to Panty Drop and we wish Julie continued success!

31 May

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Coming up on June 24: New2U E-Recycling Drive

May 31, 2016 | By |

ecycleday

Do you have old computers just hanging around taking up space? Bring them to Reno Collective on Friday, June 24th so they can be recycled and not end up in a landfill.

We can accept the following items ONLY:

  • Computer towers
  • Laptops
  • Cell phones
  • Phones
  • Flat Screen Monitors
  • Keyboards
  • Mice
  • Hard Drives
  • Computer Components (RAM, Video Cards, Sound Cards)
  • Printers
  • Ink/Toners Cartridges
  • Speakers
  • Hubs
  • Servers
  • Cables

New2U Computers provides quality refurbished computers and repairs to Northern Nevada. All of their computers are donated from the community. Whatever they can use is rebuilt and sold back to the community or given to disabled individuals in Washoe County. Anything that is no longer serviceable is recycled. They do computer, laptop, smart phone and tablet repair. They are open Monday through Saturday 9am-5pm at 50 E. Greg Street, Suite 103, Sparks, Nevada. You can reach them at 775-329-1126 or check out at our website at new2ucomputers.com or on Facebook.

09 Apr

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Leveling up the Reno Collective network

April 9, 2015 | By |

Reno Collective has been at the “Arlington fishbowl” location now for nearly two years. When we moved in we purchased what we thought were amazing wifi access points, selected the best broadband provider available and lit up some ethernet ports around the space so we could provide some ability to “wire in.”

However, with our new setup, we were seeing a problem. Many of our members work remotely. In doing so, they live and die by VOIP services, Google Hangout, GoToMeeting and other video/audio streaming services to run their business. We started to see a little blip every 15-20 minutes. After talking to a lot of people, this was not uncommon even at their homes with the same provider. The little blip was just enough to knock people off their video calls or kick developers off SSH server sessions. Obviously, this is not ideal for a workspace.

Upgrading the internals

We did another massive upgrade to our network to make sure that we weren’t causing our own issues. First we moved away from our Ubiquiti access points and moved to a much more impressive Meraki access point. Then we upgraded our switch and ran more ethernet cables to rooms that were most likely to use streaming services so we could get them off the wireless network. With all of these changes, we hoped we could made some kind of dent in the problem. Nope. After too many fruitless calls with our current broadband company, we started looking for a new service provider and figured it was time to look for someone who could provide us with a fiber connection.

meraki

Solving the blip: time for a change

In our search for fiber, we discovered that fiber infrastructure was all around our location and potentially available from multiple service providers  but getting it to local businesses remains a “last mile” problem.

The last mile or last kilometer is a phrase used by the telecommunications, cable television and internet industries to refer to the final leg of the telecommunications networks delivering communications connectivity to retail customers, the part that actually reaches the customer.

In our case, it was more of a “last hundred feet” problem but even so, getting the fiber from underground and into the building was going to be extremely cost prohibitive.

We gave up on our quest for fiber until someone unexpectedly reached out to us and expressed interest in what we do for the community and the kind of work our awesome members do each and every day.

Plumas-Sierra Telecommunications & Reno Collective

We’re now excited to announce that we’ve teamed up with Plumas-Sierra Telecommunications (PST) to solve the last mile problem. This will allow us to provide the highest quality service to all of our members and visitors for getting work done, hosting high-tech hackathons, streaming video presentations like TEDxReno, classes and meetups.

pstrc

“PST’s partnership with the Reno Collective is hopefully the beginning of a trend. We are very excited about this opportunity,” said PST General Manager, Bob Marshall.

PST has been amazing to work with so far and our entire experience has been a refreshing change to working with past providers and look forward to growing with them in the future. Full speed ahead!